Pilar Wiley is a Los Angeles based ceramist who has recently embarked on creating her first garden. It contains a sprawling collection of cacti and succulents and the beginnings of a vegetable patch. Her functional ceramics, seen scattered throughout her garden, are sold through The Garden Edit.
“Having my hands on a real garden is a new thing in my life. By real I mean an actual patch of dirt on the ground. Now I can stroke the cheek of Mother Earth with my rake and hoe, just like a farmer. Before, I used to tend an apartment army of potted plants. I grew fetishistic about these, and started making planters in thrall to their glamour.
Now, with this garden, the possibilities have dilated, and I feel a kind of vertigo. The garden buzzes and draws my focus onto things I didn’t see before. The undulation of shadows across the day and year, the shifting microclimates, the dip and pull of the sun. I follow these changes like a detective. I zoom in on an aphid farm cultivated by fretful ants, and bring them the apocalypse. Concerns (new to me) about cross-pollination tune me into the chemical symphony in the air, the world superimposed across property lines and other human boundaries. The garden has engaged me with invisible processes, and given me a hold on the panhandle of cyclical change. It invites me into an illusion of control and mastery, then reveals my folly.
It’s my new favorite teacher.”